Sat. Mar 6th, 2021

18.2.2020 Kaelan Mikla, Birds In Row & Alcest @ Tavastia, Helsinki

Tuesdays are usually calm in Helsinki, but not at Tavastia, the heart of rock ‘n’ roll. On 18 February 2020, the venue had scheduled the French metal act ALCEST, who are currently touring in support of their latest album “Spiritual Instinct.” The band had brought KAELAN MIKLA, and BIRDS IN ROW with them as a support act to warm up the audience, which provided plenty of reasons to go check out these shows in a sold-out Tavastia. Check out our photo gallery here.

I hadn’t had heard yet about the darkwave trio of KAELAN MIKLA, that was set to play as the first act of the night. The gig started off with a couple of technical issues, which were immediately resolved, and much to my surprise this dreamy blend of music was something that I perhaps didn’t expect. As much as I was amazed by KAELAN MIKLA, the trio was struggling with a lot of technical issues during their performance, which made the already short thirty-minute slot, hell of a lot shorter. The band, however, managed to leave a positive impression on me, as they delivered a dynamic performance with enchanting songs.

The next band set to play was BIRDS IN ROW, who delivered perhaps the most energetic performance of the evening with their hardcore/punk sound. The trio from France blew me away from the first seconds, as I had no clue what to expect. Relentless hardcore passages were put together with spacey sections in their music, which definitely made their music intriguing. I’m personally not the biggest fan of this genre of music, but, I can’t deny that these guys know how to rock on a stage. Their persistent energy was very contagious, and even I felt like I wanted to start a circle pit and push people around on their aggressive tracks.

Finally, it was time for ALCEST and the venue had packed up quite nicely. The fact that the evening was sold-out shows how much Finland is in love with this band, and the release of their latest album “Spiritual Instinct,” only has made things better for the blackgaze act. I personally only got to know ALCEST‘s music through this release, and their unique blend of music immediately caught my attention, which was the main reason why I wanted to be part of the evening.

The band kicked off their show with “Les Jardins de minuit,” which is also the opening track of “Spiritual Instinct,” and thus they started the immersive listening journey with a heavy, but yet dreamy song. The entire audience was transported to another dimension with the otherworldly tracks of ALCEST as they continued with their set. After a couple of songs frontman Neige addressed the crowd in a reserved way and thanked everyone for making it to the show. The audience was deeply feeling the music and sang along with the band as they played a couple of more songs.

Even though the show was perhaps a bit more minimal than some of the bands we have been checking out lately, there was a lot of room to just let the music sink in and be a part of an entrancing experience. The created atmosphere was also lifted to a higher level by the exquisite light show that added a little extra layer to the general mood. The band dedicated most of their setlist to songs of “Spiritual Instinct,” but there was also room for some older surprises and fan favorites.

ALCEST ended their much too short set with “Kodama,” which definitely was one of the highlights of the evening, as the audience burst out in grand applause. The band made their way back to the stage as they had two more songs left to play for their fans: “Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles,” and “Délivrance.” Before we knew it the band went through all their tracks, and we were left with a warm feeling inside since the ability to lose yourself like you do while listening to ALCEST‘s music, is the perfect method to relax at the beginning of a workweek.

Article and photos by Laureline Tilkin

Setlist

  1. Les Jardins de minuit
  2. ProtectionP
  3. Oiseaux de proie
  4. Autre temps
  5. Écailles de lune – Part 2
  6. Sapphire
  7. Le Miroir
  8. Kodama
  9. Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles (Encore)
  10. Délivrance (Encore)

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